Groups demand arrest of LAPD officer who allegedly shot 14-year-old dead

Activists call for LAPD officer to be charged with involuntary manslaughter

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Civil rights groups are demanding the arrest and prosecution of a Los Angeles police officer whose stray bullet killed a 14-year-old girl during an encounter with a suspect at a Burlington Coat Factory store last month.

Protesters gathered Sunday outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters and called for the officer, who police have since identified as 42-year-old Officer William Jones, to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, according to local reports.

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"There's nothing that he can say, and there's nothing that I want to hear," civil rights activist Najee Ali of Operation Hope told the City News Service

Valentina Orellana-Peralta, the 14-year-old girl shot in Los Angeles while trying on a dress in a Burlington Coat Factory on Dec. 23.

Valentina Orellana-Peralta, the 14-year-old girl shot in Los Angeles while trying on a dress in a Burlington Coat Factory on Dec. 23. (Family handout)

"At the end of the day, we do believe that it was an accident, we do believe he's sorry for what he did, but those feelings will not bring (Orellana-Peralta) back to life. For our coalition, it's about accountability," Ali said.

Jones and other officers had responded to the store in North Hollywood on Dec. 23 after receiving multiple 911 calls about an assault and possible shots fired. Police last week released video clips, radio transmissions and 911 calls of the encounter.

Jones fired three rounds at Daniel Elena Lopez, 24, after he allegedly damaged property at the store, tried to rob two females and left a female shopper bloodied from an attack with a bicycle lock. Police later said that Lopez, who died at the scene, was not armed with a firearm.

Soledad Peralta and Juan Pablo Orellana Larenas, the parents of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, attend in a news conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Soledad Peralta and Juan Pablo Orellana Larenas, the parents of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, attend in a news conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

During the encounter, a stray bullet went through a dressing room wall and fatally struck Orellana-Peralta, who was hiding inside with her mother.

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"This 14-year-old child, who should be with her family today enjoying the holiday ... and we demand justice, and the justice we demand is that [L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón] file criminal charges against Officer Jones to hold him accountable for Valentina's death," a demonstrator said during the protest, according to KABC-TV.

The board of directors of the Los Angeles Police Protection League, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, decried the calls for Jones' arrest. 

"We certainly empathize with the pain that Valentina Orellana-Peralta’s family is experiencing following this accident, but to see the usual anti-police activists attempt to politicize this incident is truly disappointing," the group said in a statement to Fox News. "These misguided activists forget the deadly lessons learned from massacres such as the Columbine High School tragedy; delay in responding to a potential active shooter could result in a mass casualty event."

People hold signs with pictures of Valentina Orellana-Peralta during a news conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in Los Angeles on Dec. 28, 2021. 

People hold signs with pictures of Valentina Orellana-Peralta during a news conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in Los Angeles on Dec. 28, 2021.  (AP)

The union noted that the activists have kept silent on the number of shootings and killings since New Year's Eve. The statement urged them to question why they have not been able to stop the "carnage of Black and Hispanic young people."

Jones was put on administrative leave following the shooting. 

Multiple agencies, including the California Department of Justice are investigating the shooting.

Fox News' Louis Casiano contributed to this report.